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Michael Kitces’ #FASuccess Podcast: Kathy Longo on Scratching Your Entrepreneurial Itch

Flourish Wealth Management President and Founder Kathy Longo tells Michael Kitces why she walked away from the partner track at a billion-dollar independent RIA to open her own business.

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Welcome everyone! Welcome to the 75th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Kathy Longo. Kathy is the President and Founder of Flourish Wealth Management, a wealth management firm in the Minneapolis area that oversees nearly $130 million of assets under management for 61 affluent clients.

What’s unique about Kathy is that she had already successfully climbed the partnership track ladder at a billion dollar independent RIA to become one of their “next generation” successor owners, yet ultimately decided to sell her shares and walk away from that business to start a new one in order to scratch her entrepreneurial itch.

In this episode, we talk in-depth about how Kathy structured and built the staffing of her firm, initially launched by using a third-party TAMP provider, then transitioning to do the investment management internally as the firm grew, having her husband take over as Director of Investments and creating a “culture snapshot” document to screen potential new employees to ensure a good fit. And why it’s so crucial as a small business owner to embrace the philosophy of “slow to hire, fast to fire” with new employees.

We also talk about the value of having a study or mastermind group: why Kathy decided to join two different study groups—one that is comprised of all women financial planners in the industry from the Minneapolis area and the other comprised of all women business owners outside the industry through the Women’s Presidents Organization, and why having a study group of peers and colleagues is so essential to running your advisory business … especially when you’re launching a firm and hit the inevitable challenges and emotional rollercoaster that comes with building your business from scratch.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Kathy talks about why she decided to write a book to further propel the growth of her advisory firm, and why and how she decided to invest in hiring an outside firm to help with the writing and book creation process.

So whether you’re interested in figuring out how to structure the investment management component of a financial planning firm, or how to create a strong culture for growing your team, or are wondering about the benefits of participating in a study group, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast.

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